Liturgical Day:  February 24

In the nine days of waiting between Jesus’ Ascension and the Day of Pentecost, the disciples remained together in prayer.  During this time, Peter reminded them that the defection and death of Judas had left the fellowship of the Twelve with a vacancy.

The Acts of the Apostles records Peter’s proposal that “of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us, one of them must be ordained to be a witness with us to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).  Two men were nominated, Joseph called Barsabas who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  After prayer, the disciples cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias, who was then enrolled with the eleven.

Nothing further is told of Matthias after his selection.  According to tradition he was an exemplary Apostle, but we know nothing more.  Matthias seems an appropriate example to Christians of one whose faithful companionship with Jesus qualifies him to be a suitable witness to the resurrection, and whose service is unheralded and unsung. –Lesser Feasts and Fasts

O Almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; Grant that thy Church, being always preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen. –The Collect for St. Matthias the Apostle (Book of Common Prayer, page 233)